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tv   Meet the Press  MSNBC  September 29, 2013 2:00pm-3:00pm EDT

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breaking news this morning, government by crisis, we are one step closer to a government shutdown, so how will it end? >> our message to congress is this, do not shut down the government. do not shut down the economy. pass a budget on time, pay our bills on time. >> all republicans are asking tonight is give the nation a year to study a 2500 page bill that even speaker nancy pelosi had not a clue what was in it. >> this morning, the fight and the politics behind the standoff, an exclusive interview with republican senator cruz of texas. he has elevated the fight to new levels.
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>> i intend to speak on obama care o until i'm no longer able to tap. >> where does his fight go from here? plus, our political roundtable, joining me msnbc's chris matthews, former governor john huntsman, and democratic strategist, dee dee myers. and for the first time a u.s. and iranian president speak directly. is the nuclear disarmament deal now possible? i'm david gregory, for "meet the press," on sunday, september 29th. >> from nbc news in washington, this world's longest running television program, this is "meet the press." >> and good morning, the fast-moving developments, last night the house of representatives voted to delay president obama's health care
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law as part of an emergency spending bill, the president promises to veto, the vote brings the country a step closer to a government shutdown, kelly o'donnell has more. >> reporter: well, good morning, david you might expect there was action since the government was threatening to shut down tomorrow. but that is not happening, congress is on pause, after working until the wee hours they made their message clear, but the senate tells me they are rejecting that flatly. that comes tomorrow. so today, when the country is waiting for an answer, congress is on hold. here is where we stand, this is what the house has done, they are passing funding to keep the government open and operating but with conditions to delay the president's health care law by a
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year, and to repeal a medical device tax paid by manufacturers for things like pacemakers or defibrillators, delay that. also, they do want military paychecks to keep coming. but again, that is the house version where they stand. the senate says no way, the only thing they would consider is simply keeping the government open, nothing that would affect the health care law. >> so the staring contest begins, kelly o'donnell, i know you will be watching, thank you, joining me this morning, ted cruz, the man in the middle of the fight. so here are the stakes, de-fund or delay, say you and other republicans, the president says no way. the law is moving forward. are you in control? >> at the end of the day every senator has to decide how he or she is going to vote. every representative has decided how they are going to vote.
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the house last night voted to keep the government open, to fully fund the government, but at the same time the house responded to the millions of americans who are hurting under obamacare, and i think the senate needs to do the same thing. >> i looked at polling that shows the law is unpopular, 56% want to uphold this law, so when you say listen to the american people, they're not necessarily with you. >> well, look at the phrase "uphold the law," when you do the polling, the answer is always yes. >> just polling methods -- >> i promise you any senator or representative that goes home to their home state and you hold a town hall and just ask people what are you facing? i mean, i have spent hundreds of hours chris-crossing the state of texas, and people all over
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the country are being forced out of jobs, losing their premiums and health insurance. >> we'll get into particulars of obamacare, because obviously there is more to that story that advocates will argue with. so let's stick to that story. how does this end? because as i understand it, you would only support de-funding obamacare, a delay is not enough. >> well, the next step, let's talk about that, the senate needs to act, in my view harry reid should call the senate back in today. we have a bill in front of us, there is a government shutdown in 48 hours. listen, i would love to be in houston with my two little girls playing with them this afternoon, but as you know i'm here in washington, d.c., as you know the senate should not be on vacation -- >> you know, the senate has acted, the majority leader would say, passed a bill to keep the government open. and then we've gone back to delaying or de-funding obama care.
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should they take a part of it? would you filibuster this bill? >> let's be clear what the senate has done so far. so far, majority leader harry reid has essentially told the house of representatives and the american people go jump in the lake, he said i am not willing to compromise or talk. his position is obamacare must be funded 100% in all instances or he will shut the government down. i hope he doesn't do that, david, i hope he backs away from the ledge he is pushing us towards. but that is his position. >> but senator, even republicans that i have spoken to, your colleagues say senator cruz can't blame harry reid for shutting down the government. senator reid acted. he passed a bill to keep the government open. >> but let's be clear, the house has twice now voted to keep the government open. and if we have a shutdown, it will only be because when the senate comes back harry reid says i refuse to talk.
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also, let's be clear, president obama has granted a delay for big corporations, every big corporation has gotten a delay. if harry reid shuts the government down he will be saying if american families don't get a delay like the corporations, hard working american families, he is going to insist they suffer. >> it is interesting, democrats say you know the problem with senator cruz' position is it is a purist position. there are problems with obamacare. we have had some polls saying there is great dissatisfaction at the town halls, but you haven't engaged in a debate on how to change the law, what you have gone out and said let's kill the law, let's de-fund it. >> actually, with respect, david, i think the premise is wrong, i voted to repeal the
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law, but that was not my position in this fight. my position is de-fund it, which is different than repeal. and even now what the house of representatives has done is a step removed from de-funding. it is delaying it. now that is the essence of a compromise, delaying simply on the same terms that has been done for the big corporations, that is a compromise. and at the same time, david, on the other side, what have the democrats compromised on? zero, their position is absolutely no, no matter what. >> you make this argument as if there is no broader context here. obamacare has been legislated, has been adjudicated and it has been tested to the political system. and so let's go through that. we had an election where i heard the standard bearer for the republican party, mitt romney, saying that obamacare should be repealed. all the republicans already voted against this thing when it was ultimately passed, the supreme court upheld it. and then your colleagues said let's have a strategy de-funding
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obamacare and signed the letter, and they joined you in that fight. well, here now you don't even have the same number of folks who signed the letter who voted for this effort. there are not protests in the streets arguing to do away with the law the way that you would like. again, 51% of the poll this week, let's uphold the law. so i'm focusing on results. your goal and results. where have you moved anything? >> okay look, the facts are becoming more and more clear that obamacare is not working. every day that is more clear, there is a reason the unions are jumping ship. one union after another is saying let me out. there is a reason why the president of the teamsters used millions, saying obamacare was destroying their health care. destroying is his word. now, why is it that harry reid
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and the senate democrats are not willing to listen to the millions of men and women -- >> but you're a terrific lawyer, you're making an argument, i asked you a specific argument based on the facts on the ground. you made these arguments for 21 hours, my goodness, you haven't moved anyone. >> look, the american people rejected obamacare, they understand it is not working. the only people making the argument are the career politicians in washington, harry reid who wants to use brute force, the great thing about the constitution, the checks and balances, the ability to check one another, president obama has over and over again disregarded the law. when he granted an exemption for giant corporations, that was contrary to law. when he granted an exemption to members of congress, that was against the law. right now we have a system where the rich and powerful, those with connections to the obama administration, they get spared some of the burdens of obama care. but those who were struggling, single moms and young people and
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people who are just trying to make it. >> you're a proponent of the law, millions are getting access to health care they couldn't otherwise afford. parents with children, others with conditions getting in the way of insurance. i spoke to a hospital administrator this week in illinois saying utilization is down, you can't know what the effect of five years from now is on this law. and nor can proponents of the law. but here is one argument, you've made yours, and the president, when he spoke this week, referred to your words. i want to play a portion, suggesting what you really don't want is the law to go forward because people may start to like it, this is what he said. >> he said it is going to prove almost impossible to undo obamacare, right? so in other words, we've got to shut this thing down before
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people find out that they like it. >> you don't think americans will like it? you don't think that 25% of the state of texas that is uninsured will actually like the expanded access to get health insurance? >> i don't, and here is why, because it is not working. what happens, if you want people to get health insurance, the best way to get health insurance is to get a job, and obamacare is the biggest job killer in the country. if you look at the mandate, half of the business managers are reducing or hiring part-time workers. another 24% said they were not growing to keep their size under 50 workers. if you're a young person out of school unable to find a job, a big part of the reason you can't find a job is because small businesses are not growing because of obamacare. and there is nothing that can give you better health insurance than having a vibrant economy where you can get a job.
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let's take the thousands of workers at u.p.s. who just received notice from their employers that spousal insurance was being dropped. let's look at the workers of sea world who were told we're reducing your hours because of obamacare. people are hurting. >> there are also benefit administrators who say there is no reason health insurers would stop giving insurance to their employees, it is a major tool to get employees. and health care, perhaps these problems that you're identifying could be solved short of complete de-funding. i want to start for just a moment to get you clear. a government shutdown, that is an acceptable outcome to you? >> look, i don't want a government shutdown. i don't think that harry reid
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should shut down the government. the house of representatives did something terrific, which is they passed a bill to make clear that regardless of what happens the men and women of our military should be paid. that passed unanimously in the house. and listen, right now, harry reid and president obama had been essentially holding the military hostage, threatening their paychecks over this potential shutdown. they might force. i think regardless of what happened we should pass the bill. we should not have a shutdown, which means harry reid has to move off his absolutist position. you have seen multiple compromises from the republicans, and can you tell me what the democrats have done to compromise -- >> but what has he done -- as i outlined before, you have lost ground from even the summer on the position of getting people to vote with you.
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you lost ground from that position and you haven't persuaded one democrat. you have got to be democrats if you're going to overturn this thing. >> well, actually, joe manchin came out saying he supported the delay in the original mandate. listen, last time this was in the senate, there was division among the republicans. i had hoped the republicans would be united. that didn't happen, i'll tell you this, this next time around, this is an opportunity -- >> you have raised money on this, taken to the floor for 21 hours, you haven't moved anything legislatively, do you concede that point? >> david, i don't, and the establishment has been exempted from some of the harms. members of congress, how can you possibly justify to the american people that members of congress are exempted from the law? are not put on the exchanges like millions of americans. >> well, they're part of the
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exchanges, they just get the employer contribution. >> but anyone on the exchange doesn't get the employer mandate except for members of congress. and president obama did that. people are frustrated with washington and the simplest reason is you've got politicians in both parties who aren't listening to the people and who are living by a different set of rules. the rules class gets exempted, so harry reid and a tthe senate democrats came to president obama and said we want out. i had an exchange with dick durbin where he described it as first class tickets and we should stick the american people in coach. his own analogy shows what's wrong with this system. members of congress shouldn't be treated better than the american people and neither should big business. and if harry reid shows any modicum at being willing to compromise, he would agree to what the house has done to say this isn't ready for prime time
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and we'll treat the american people at least as well as we treat big business. >> you're talking a lot about democrats. they're critical of you. but it's hard for them to get a word in edge wise. you have colleagues who have accused you you of putting on a show. that was senator corker. congressman peter king said you were a fraud, that you're lying to the base, overpromising something that is possible. george will who has been conservati conservative columnist has been suppo support difference of you in the past, but he wrote this. those people who are best at deceiving others first deceive themselves. they often do so by allowing their wishes to be the fathers of their thoughts and begin by wishing everything has changed. republicans now making a moral melodrama over any vote that allows the aca to be funded should remember everett dirksen
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of illinois. he recalled 40 preachers caught me in one afternoon there in that lobby. i'm not a moralist, i'm a legislator. it is stair to be the former to the explosion of the latter. are you more moralist than legislator? ? i'm just trying to fight for the american people and i'm pretty sure gormg will argue that had what we should be doing is delaying obama care. and one important thing to remember, you and all the voices of washington keep saying we need compromise. twice now, the republicans have compromised. and twice, harry reid says we won't even have a compromise, i want to fund it all. we want to stick it on the american people and won't budge, that is not a reason, if we have a shutdown, the american people will be held hostage.
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>> who do you most admire? >> i most admired phil graham, there are voices who say this is not possible. and if you remember back in 1993 when hillary care was being debated. and there were a lot of people that came forward that said we'll partially fund hillarycare-light. republicans were convinced we can't stop this. phil graham said, i know you will remember this, he said this will pass over my cold, dead political body. and a whole lot of republicans who were scared, they looked over, he was not killed. they ran behind him and they said yeah, yeah, what he said. look, the power of leadership can change debates. we saw that just a month ago with syria. when president obama said he was going to launch attacks on syria, you had leaders of both house support him. and then the american people
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spoke up in overwhelming numbers saying we don't want to get involved in a sectarian war in syria, where there is no clear reason for the united states to do so and what happened, the federal government turned. we didn't get involved. we didn't launch the attacks, and just weeks earlier conventional wisdom in washington said it is impossible. >> do you regret comparing the future of obamacare to the rise of hitler in nazi germany? >> well, the premise of your question is not true. what i said is there are many voices in washington who said "we can't do this, we can't do this." and i went through the centuries over and over again when americans were faced with big challenges, on big occasions, whether it was the civil war, going to the moon or winning the cold war, at every stage there were voices of conventional wisdom who say this can't be done, and at every stage, the american people rose to the occasion.
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and what i said is we should do the same here. we should look to, if we empower the american people to get washington to listen to the people, that is how we get this changed. >> do you ride this to the presidential nomination? >> it is easy for washington to focus on politics. i understand, that is the business of this town. what i am trying to do every day is focus on making a difference in the lives of the american people. every survey that is done in this country, the top priority of the american people is jobs and the economy. under harry reid's senate, we don't even talk about jobs and the economy. obamacare is the biggest job killer in this country. and millions of americans are hurting. you know, i would like to see a democrat respond to james huff's letter who said this is right now destroying the health care of millions of americans. that is not me, that is a democrat union leader who has supported president obama and harry reid.
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we need to listen to the people. >> thank you, senator. >> thank you, david. coming up, we're going to switch gears, one of the biggest threats is iran's nuclear program. joining me, msnbc's chief foreign affairs correspondent, andrea mitchell, as well as one of president obama's former advisers on arms control. we'll be right back here in just a moment. andrea mitchell, as we of president obama's former advisers on arms control. we'll be right back here in just a moment. "meet the press" is brought to you by the boeing company. >> here is today's question, weigh in now at"meet the press." [ male announcer ] this is pam.
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u.s./iran relations reached a new level when they spoke by phone, first conversation between the leaders of the countries in over 30 years. >> the two of us discussed our ongoing efforts to reach an agreement over iran's nuclear program. i reiterated to president rowhani what i said in new york, while there will surely be important obstacles to moving forward and success is by no means guaranteed, i believe we can reach a comprehensive solution. >> so what is behind the recent actions of the iranian president? joining me now, our chief foreign affairs correspondent, andrea mitchell, and former adviser to president obama on arms control and wmd, one of the few who met with rowhani while he was in new york, welcome to
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both of you, what i am fascinated by, what brought us to this moment? >> i think the answer is very simple, it is pressure, the economic sanctions imposed, started by president bush and strengthened by president obama has been sufficient to force the iranians to seek a nuclear deal so they can get relief from sanctions. >> but how do we get from there to here? >> that is a big question, i was at a small gathering with rowhani, it is very clear they're concerned about the bank sanctions. he is a politician, he was elected with the mandate to be moderate. he got 51% of the vote. his closest competitor got 16%, he was greeted back in tehran with crowds of demonstrators, supporters but also protesters. the fact that the mullahs allowed them to go to the
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airport, they even threw a shoe, but he has explained very ably, will they give up the real stuff? and that is a very heavy price for them. they have spent billions on it. and right now, israel is complaining, and netanyahu is coming tomorrow, israel is concerned they are building a heavy water reactor, which can create plutonium -- >> just to be really simplified, they have three facilities that can produce the stuff to build the bomb. >> that we know of. >> that we know of. now, you only need a certain percentage to have energy use. they're above that. and the fear is they can what is called "break out," they can get to that nuclear weapon real fast. so how do you prevent that from happening and believe in a deal? >> well, as a condition for lifting sanctions, i think the u.s. and its allies will demand that iran accept physical limits on the nuclear capacity, in terms of size and strength and
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the enrichment program. >> but haven't we had requirements in place before? rigorous inspections? >> this goes beyond inspections, monitoring is very important to be sure the iranians don't cheat, especially given their history of cheating. i think they will seek is physical limitations, so they don't have the capacity to break out quickly, so far, rowhani has not indicated any willingness to accept those limits. >> and they prop up the assad regime, they fortify the hezbollah, the iranian revolutionary guard has a stronghold in iraq throughout the region, they're terrified of the goals of iran at this point. that is the overview, how do you navigate that? >> well, that is the overview, but the reward, potentially, the whole region could change if
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this were to work. if this works, then syria becomes at least more viable as a political solution in geneva, if the hezbollah and the iranian arms are not going to prop up assad. and then russia becomes a partner, we let them into the middle east, which is dangerous, but now there is a way in the u.n. of monitoring things, afghanistan as you mentioned. iran has been such a troublemaker in both of those places. if this economic pressure has been profound enough and you have 30% -- rather 60% of the iranian population under 30, this is the mandate he has, a short window. if this were to work, then perhaps saudi arabia and the gulf states would see the benefit, because they and the israelis are very conservative. >> so 30 seconds here, you have netanyahu who is coming to meet with the president tomorrow. he is going to say don't trust this guy, he is fooling you. i think what the president will say is that it will all depend on concrete results. words are nice, but what really counts at the end of the day is
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whether iran is ready to take action as the president said in his u.n. speech. >> do you believe this is real? >> i don't think it is real yet. i think the iranians will try to get sanctions -- >> and play rope a dope. >> and play rope a dope. as the sanctions continue to bite even more then the iranians will have to make tough choices. >> very quickly, what the israelis are worried about, and others in the gulf, is that the president will be so ready for a deal is that he will not be tough enough because of what happened with syria. >> thank you both very much. fascinating developments. coming up, back here on the shutdown, the reactions to ted cruz, plus who has the upper hand on the voices. our political round table is here. we'll be right back.
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[ male announcer ] get $100 in instant savings when you order digital life smart security. limited availability in select markets. ♪ "meet the press" continues with our political round table. joining us this morning, raoul labrador, john huntsman, dee dee myers, and chris humphreys. >> welcome to all of you, here
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is a poll on who you would blame for the government shutdown, here is a poll, 39% would blame republicans, 36% would blame the president, 17% said both. increase matthews, i was there somebody where chris matthews said would you please tell they're behaving like children. i have done my duty, so the question for all of you, chris, i start with you, who gets the blame? >> i was watching your discussion, and you made points about how obamacare, affordable care, as passed by the senate, and then the president got reelected on that very issue. i watched that discussion, senator cruz talks as if there should be a final test that you have to get through before the law goes into effect. in other words, the final vote, whether it is on the debt ceiling or the shutdown of the government, a final look at the law saying should we really let
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that go into effect before it is set to go into effect. that is not really the form of government. you outlined the form of government. the test by which we submit any new legislation, and the president signs it, is the law, and upholding the law is a good question, should we uphold the law? i think he goes past to his issue, which is the substance, the policy, which will be debated for years. the question is should the law be upheld? >> the question is, when is the law legitimate ever? >> that is a good question, but if you uphold the law then you wouldn't be delaying, the president has delayed it for big business and all his friends. and the question is, is the law ready at this time? is it ready for prime time at this moment? i would repeal the law, i would get rid completely of the law. but all we're asking for in the house of representatives is a one-year delay, just like the unions are asking for a year delay, like he has given to big business, i don't think it is unreason to ask for that.
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>> and i don't mean to interrupt you on that. we talked plenty about the arguments and the substance. but i want to steer us to the end game piece of that. dee dee, we'll come back around to that. how does this end? >> the house has voted almost 40 times to repeal obamacare and every time it has failed. insanity is doing the same thing over and over -- >> and eight times the president had legislation that repealed certain parts. >> but he wouldn't repeal the domestic part, which he believes in deeply. you guys tried 40 times, it failed. now you attach it numerous times to de-fund it. 70% of americans don't think the reasonable avenue to shut down the government to try to make that happen. you know, there are checks and balances, as you like to say. you have no ability to stop obamacare. it is not going to happen. so what is the end game? >> i think the end game, partially, we don't see a
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government shutdown, 25% of them are basically broke on the cloture vote. you basically see guys like coburne and corker who are going to go down in this as heroes as keeping the sanity. it will be important to see how it is executed throughout the states. you have 17 exchanges that will be up and running on tuesday, we created the first one in utah that has 240 individual policies to be accessed. 300 small businesses are ready to buy into it. i think it will be an important experience, we move into the problem of jobs and economics. does it work or not? >> you can't just say politics aside, or have a debate, or the policy implementation because this is about politics. and i don't -- some may see it as petty politics, but i think the congress would say look, we
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want to keep it alive until 2014, to 2016, there are political means to overturning this, they just haven't achieved it yet. >> i think it will continue, i am not as sublime as you. the difference is in a kidnapping, you grab the baby and ask for the money. in this case, grab the money and ask for the baby. obama won't give him his baby, you can't negotiate this. dee dee pointed this out. this is his claim to history, what he did after 40 or 50 years of democratic party claim, the clintons tried, almost got it. everybody said we're going to do it since roosevelt, to say i'm going to give it away, or delay it. i think everybody knows the people who want to delay in a year, want it to die in a year. that is the problem with some of the features in the bill, those who want to kill it, that is a big difference, killing the baby here. >> we're going to be beyond politics real soon and then the real world takes over. >> what happens if the
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government doesn't go back to work? >> if there is a shutdown, it will be 24 hours, republicans know it is a loser for them. they have to learn the lesson of this. that will be you can't have it all or nothing approach. you have to find areas that don't work and fix them as they proceed. >> the democrats think this is a loser for us, everybody agrees this is a loser for us if the government shuts down, that is why i think the president wants a government shutdown. if you look at twitter, there was not a single republican on twitter that said let's shut down the government. but every single democrat was saying the republicans want to shut down the government. the politics are coming from the other side as well. so let's be really honest about this. and the other side would like to see republicans in trouble in 2014. the other side wants to make sure that they're not even willing to meet us half way. harry reid will not negotiate with john boehner, the president will not meet with john boehner, and john boehner is actually trying to be responsible here.
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>> john boehner does not agree with you, john boehner does not want to shut down, does not want to take this stand. >> you're saying i want to shut down the government. i don't want to shut down the government. >> the speaker of the house is actually not interested in trying to filet up obamacare right now as you are, he has a different view. >> i disagree with him on the debt ceiling, i thought this was the moment to do it, not have the fight. >> so what is the end game, congressman? are you willing to vote for a continuing resolution that comes back that does not delay or de-fund obamacare? >> i am not, but i think there are enough people in the republican party willing to do that. that is what i think you will see, the first request was to completely de-fund the program. and we knew we were going to lose on that, now we're asking for a delay, which again, i don't think is an unreasonable thing to do. you know, your boss, tip o'neill, shut down the government 12 times and you didn't call him a terrorist. >> these were always a couple of days, and on both sides.
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>> but you said why -- it happened. >> where did you get your number from? >> seven times. >> since the '70s -- >> 17 times since the '70s at 12 under your boss. >> they were issues of a day or two, and issues of funding. what i said before is you can argue over numbers, if it is seven or nine, make it eight. but if you say get rid of the number one program, under the law and put it in the history books, you can't say give me that. >> when is a law legitimate? would it be appropriate for the president or democrats controlling the senate to say let's go back and let's overturn a reagan era law. could they do that? >> one of the shutdowns was based on the fairness doctrine, one of the shutdowns was because the fairness doctrine had been done away with. and they wanted it back, so it
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has been done before. the democrats spent the entire decade of the bush administration trying to repeal the bush tax cuts. it is not like republicans and democrats don't fight about their policies. that is what politics is all about. so for somebody to go on national tv and say we can't fight about our policy differences -- >> the question is, do you fight about the same old rules and making non-negotiable demands. i think there is a debate on health care on whether or not to do it. and finally, the president, through the congress, the electorate, decided to do it. >> not a single republican voted for that law, because you guys, the democrats decided to cram it down, you decided to do procedural issues. >> there was not a real effort on either side to compromise. >> go ahead -- >> this is an example of how divisive this debate has become,
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a decade ago, the republicans were trying to crack the code on health care reform. as a mandate, the heritage foundation -- we looked at expanding the marketplace, so i say, we have a law. let's recognize that. now we have the real world, people who are going to wait this week to find a policy. that is the real world, the question from here, the game, the politics and implementation, how do you make it work for people across this country? >> right, and ultimately, this is what part of the political fight is about. because once that does happen, we have the experience of other entitlements in this country, that warts and all, these programs move forward and become part of the firmament of our entitlement state and then you really can't take them away. >> i think it is part of the fear here, the exchange is open on tuesday, people can go on line, as you said, go to a meeting, go by mail, if there is a policy that fits their needs, the answer will be yes.
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for hopefully everybody uninsured, the answer will be yes. once people have a positive experience, going online, finding a policy, being insured for the first time, having better coverage it will be very hard to take it away from people. they have been waiting a long time, as chris said, to get to this point. there are 50 million people in the country who are uninsured. this is an opportunity to change what sort of has been a black mark on our country and society that we can allow that to go forward. >> one last kind of bottom line point, congressman, since you will have a vote on this. at some point there will be a resolution of the government shutdown, before or after, even given your views about how bad obamacare is, do you think it is worse not voting to increase the debt limit over this fight? >> not over the obamacare, i
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always told my leadership i want the fight on the debt ceiling about debts, about spending, not about obamacare. i always believe that the fight should be at the cr, the spending levels and the debt level should be about debt, not obamacare. some people disagree with me. >> all right, we'll leave it here, you talked about tip o'neill, and i thought if only -- into the tip o'neill/ronald reagan years. we'll be right back after the break, talking about the new book "tip and the gipper," and the big question asked, why don't today's leaders cooperate in the country's best interests? that is today's question, when we come back. take these bags to room 12 please. [ garth ] bjorn's small business earns double miles on every purchase every day. produce delivery. [ bjorn ] just put it on my spark card. [ garth ] why settle for less? ahh, oh! [ garth ] great businesses deserve unlimited rewards. here's your wake up call.
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and we're back, i've asked chris to stick around, less than 48 hours before the possible government shutdown. he has a new book with politics, "tip and gipper," describes a time where they compromised. i'm going to have you read a section, one of the things ted cruz said struck me, which basically says he represents an age of politicians fighting against the establishment in washington. they don't think the old guard, mostly guys, who could compromise on issues are representing you know, the people they represent anymore. >> yeah, i think it is a good argument, because people are very unhappy today because of the crunch of the middle class. but if you look at the polling and ask people if they respect congress, back in the '80s, tip o'neill had a 67% job approval, today, they had single digit approval. and reagan had at least that high, people were government --
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confident that even the government, when it argued, would have a compromise. >> you had a question of why can't things work? this is not a historical piece, why can't it work -- >> i think people need to know the new norm is not the norm, there is a better time, they will again, they disagreed on the role of government, compromised, trying to get along even as they challenged each other. why, we wonder, can't it be that way again? why won't the leaders work to accommodate each other, as they work to accomplish goals in this country's best interests. the mood today, even on this program, this sort of anger that is in the back drop -- the people out there have an anger. i remember walking up to the president, i said welcome, mr. president to the room where we plot against you.
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and the president said oh, no, not after 6:00, the speaker says we're friends after 6:00. there is a sense of we'll argue it and get it done. there were shutdowns, over money, the usual kind of things politicians argue about, but there were not non-negotiable demands. >> i guess democrats are complaining this week, saying ted cruz, if you want to change the law, let's talk about how we can change the law. but don't set up a scenario where it is either you get rid of the whole thing or the government will end up being shut down or the debt limit won't be raised. >> yeah, i love the negotiations, jack lew, the secretary of the treasury, sat next to me. we thought it was the most partisan time in history. but the speaker would meet with reagan, tip would say, okay, i'll give you the democratic votes for the debt ceiling, we'll pass it. but i want a letter from the
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president asking the democrats to do it. i know you like that idea. because it shows how professional behavior was. one time on the tax increase, mr. o'neill said i'll pass the bill with you, deficit is too high. they knew how to cut deals after the fight. >> how does this president do in creating the kind of atmospheric? >> i don't think he was as good as reagan was as nurturing relations. i remember going to the jim dinner, which most of the guys were having steak dinner and apple pie, and baked potato and a beer. and just to be a dissenter, no press, it was a big deal. and in walked reagan with george bush. and george bush, as vp, had been a member of the house and knew how it worked. you got to connect with these guys.
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and i knew there was something that would help him get elected, every democrat took their picture with reagan. >> most of the democrats don't want their picture, that would hurt them. >> reagan being from notre dame, he had a lot of democrats who liked him. and i think this president doesn't have a lot of republicans that like him. this makes it a tougher time, by the way, it is politics, not civics, guys and women who believe in what they do. tip was the classic liberal who served, got elected 50 times as a liberal. he totally believed in helping people. and you know what? reagan respected him liking people and wanting to help people. he actually understood him. and ron reagan is on our program a lot of times, it wasn't personal. >> search for compromise, we need it now. chris matthews, thank you very much. again, the book is "tip and the gipper" when the politics worked.
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with easy step-by-step guidance, we're here to help you turn your dream into a reality. start your business today with legalzoom. some of this week's images to remember. >> yeah, that last image, the opening of the fred w. smith national library for the study of george washington at his mount vernon estate. he told a friend he needed a place for his military papers because they were quite voluminous, he finally got his wish.


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